THE EPICLY LATER’D PAGE
Words & Photos by Patrick O'Dell
When I first started the
skate show, Ali Boulala was one of the first people I wanted to do an episode with. In fact, before the show even existed I had dreamed of one day making a documentary about him. He is one of the most charismatic and quotable people of all time. After spending time with him you find yourself repeating everything he says: “My iPod just adds Beethoven! I never put it in there! It just wants me to have it!” he yells... Well, I guess you had to be there.
Sadly, within weeks of starting the show and planning to visit him, he got into the drunk scooter accident that put him in a coma and killed Shane Cross. Now he’s in jail. It is very sad.
These photos are from Germany in 2004. I was on an Emerica tour with Erik Ellington. We snorted weird drugs for cancer patients that Ali stole from someone in his family. I don’t think the drugs had any effect. We emptied the minibar and drank with skater fans outside of the Dortmund contest. Ali even went to jail for fighting the cops who wouldn’t let him into the contest because he didn’t have a wristband or whatever. It was stupid, but at the time it seemed so romantic.
He is a natural leader and I think I just followed him around all weekend snapping photos. And those times and pictures feel like a significant part of my life, though to him I’m sure they are just a hazy unmemorable flash in the chaos of his life.